Colorado deputy shot, killed in Thornton identified; police looking for 2 other suspects

THORNTON, Colo. — The suspect accused of shooting and killing a Colorado deputy Wednesday night has been identified.

According to court records, Dreion Dearing, 22, was booked into the Adams County Jail on investigation on two counts of first-degree murder of a peace officer, one count of first-degree murder after deliberation, and second-degree burglary of a dwelling.

Dearing was arrested Wednesday night. Two other suspects remain at large, according to the Adams County Sheriff’s Office. The two men were described as either light-skinned black males or dark-skinned Hispanic males dressed in all black.

The Adams County sheriff’s deputy shot Wednesday night was identified by the Colorado Police Officers Foundation and others as 32-year-old Heath Gumm.

According to the sheriff’s office, deputies were responding to an assault in progress in Thornton, Colorado just before 7 p.m. Wednesday, and spotted a man matching the description of one of the suspects.

The man, now identified as Dearing, ran from officers, the sheriff’s office said, and after deputies caught up to him, he pulled out a handgun and started shooting.

Gumm was struck in the chest and died after being transported to Denver Health.

A massive manhunt was underway Wednesday night through Thursday morning for the outstanding suspects both in the Thornton area and across the rest of the Denver metro.

Flags were ordered to be flown at half-staff Thursday in Gumm’s honor. There has also been a massive outpouring of support for Gumm’s family and friends, and his Adams County Sheriff’s Office family.

Gumm was a husband and father, and was a 2004 graduate of Mullen High School in Denver, the school said Thursday.

The Colorado Police Officers Foundation has set up a fund to raise money for Gumm’s family. All the money donated will go directly to the family.

The shooting marks the second fatal shooting of a deputy in Colorado in 25 days after Douglas County Deputy Zackari Parrish was ambushed on New Year's Eve 2017. This is the first deputy death in Adams County since 1999, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page

Court records show Dearing was found guilty of a felony robbery charge in July 2014 in Denver. He was originally also charged with second-degree assault in that case after his October 2013 arrest, but the charge was dropped.

Print this article Back to Top